Ideas for a fabulous old kitchen table

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I came across this fabulous, sturdy as all get out, seen better days kitchen table. The green paint was buried under two very stubborn (top layer dirty) layers of off white paint. When stripping to get to the green, if I got through the other two, the green would just melt away.
The top had water damage, and other suggestions of the life it lived before, possibly stains from food prep, meat juices, spilled grape juice from the little ones that would grace it for their lunches. I did a severe sanding, but the history wanted to stay in the present, so I topped it with a gloss oil base poly to protect it.
I also stripped the drawer, again highlighting the beautiful wood with poly. The drawer will remain with the layers.
The base is now boring me, but I don't know whether or not to strip down completely and poly, or paint in a new and fun color.
Suggestions please? Thanks!!
q ideas for a fabulous old kitchen table, painted furniture, painting over finishes, painting wood furniture
q ideas for a fabulous old kitchen table, painted furniture, painting over finishes, painting wood furniture
q ideas for a fabulous old kitchen table, painted furniture, painting over finishes, painting wood furniture
  27 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 09, 2015
    Were this mine, I would add a sealer/protection coat and keep it just like it is! The distressed is so in right now. You can always change it later. The history on the top is so heartwarming!

  • Kathy T Kathy T on Dec 09, 2015
    I too agree with Jeanette, absolutely gorgeous as is!!

  • Patricia Patricia on Dec 09, 2015
    First I just love your description of the life the table lived before! The table is adorable and I think the matter of the base comes down to what your personal preference is. If you love it the way it is then keep it! However, from a design perspective I think there is too much contrast between the newly refinished top/drawer to the heavily distressed base. If it were me I would add a color to the base and then add light to medium distressing to accentuate the vintage charm. Otherwise, strip the base for a cohesive finished look and let it age naturally once again. But no matter what you decide this table is a gem. :-)

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 09, 2015
    That piece is truly amazing looking as is.I would definately use a good sealer. Min Wax has there own site if your are interested in researching.

  • LD LD on Dec 09, 2015
    It's a really great find. If you want a natural age look then strip the rest of the base in order to get a more uniform look for right now it looks as those someone lost interest in the job and didn't finished it. There are some great stain colors that you could use in order to make this a featured piece, and protect it with polyurethane.

  • Terryfuntash Terryfuntash on Dec 09, 2015
    If you do anything to change the legs make sure it is removable, that table is beautiful it is pure warmth and age I think it is perfect

  • Sbsb1005 Sbsb1005 on Dec 09, 2015
    Keep the real wood on top and an accent color on the bottom

  • Marcie Marcie on Dec 09, 2015
    keep the top natural, and sand the rest and prime it and use a milk pain application... it would suit the look and give it a farm house feel

  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Dec 09, 2015
    I agree that this table is perfect for milk paint, preferably in a bright color. I would not prime with milk paint, but make sure your surface is not too slick. If you want it to have authentic chipping, use real milk paint powder, and sand strategically to make sure you still have some areas left to chip off.

  • Thank you all for your ideas and words of praise for my little story (I love to write!!) As far as "distressing", I think that is its state right now. I shy away from working to look as though something wasn't worked on lol!! The wood of the drawer shows the beauty of the base, and I'll keep the drawer as is, but I really want to have some fun with color, and shiny color at that. Color suggestions??

  • Patti Paints Patti Paints on Dec 09, 2015
    I just refinished a plain wood base of my lamp with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I did the base color in Antibes Green and top coat in Emperor’s Silk. I did a light distressing to let a little of the green come through. After a clear wax seal, I went over it with dark wax to give a slight antique look. I’m attaching a picture. There are lots of color choices, but I’d love to see your little table with a pop of red. You could do any number of colors under the red and lightly sand to let it come through.

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 10, 2015
    I LOVE the sturdy chunky look of your table which I think lends itself to that chippy distressed rustic look! I quite like it the way it is. Although, it sounds like you have your heart set on painting the base of the table so I would do a layered effect. I would do layers of light green, cream, orange and turquoise and then do a top coat of red. Once dry, sand back the red here and there so you can see the other colors underneath. I think it would look so awesome that I think I'm going to give it a try myself!

  • Running out of stripper, I started scraping and sanding. These legs are gorgeous, with a grain that almost begs me to just poly and leave be. But, like similar Adventures with Impulse I've had, with hair cutting scissors, or in front of some shrubbery, with clippers begging to clip, the hair (mistake) will grow back, the shrubbery (mistake) grow back!! Sohhhhh, as long as stain stays clear, and strippers and scrapers (patiently, or not) await, it's time to paint away!

  • Malesa Malesa on Dec 10, 2015
    please share the end result with us!

  • UpState UpState on Dec 10, 2015
    Noooo....don't paint...keep stripping & finish/stain with all its priceless imperfections !

  • Taffetal Taffetal on Dec 11, 2015
    How about crackling it with a turquoise paint?

  • M2Texas M2Texas on Dec 11, 2015
    Stain the lower part with a darker stain so the character of the top is emphasized.

  • Update lol; now, keep in mind that I'm all about fixing my (many) mistakes, my progress has included a coat of a crazy Chartruise color (like the liqueur in the reall tall bottle that almost makes you gag), immediately painted over with a Wedgewood blue, then dry-brushed to hopefully show the two colors here and there. Last nights fun started with some scraping of the previous behavior, then grabbing anothe color from my oops shelf - this one a bright raspberry. I sloshed it over the base, then did the same wet on wet application with a sea foam mix I had concocted. That's how it is now. Today's shopping list includes a variety of sandpaper grades and stripper. I think I have enough layers to start sanding, and seeing what comes thru.

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 15, 2015
    Well,Kelly that is where you and I differ! I would't have stripped the rest of the paint from the legs! I would have left it so it would be part of the piece as well! I guess I didn't explain myself very well! I would have then haphazardly slapped on a coat of high adhesion primer and then when it was dry, I would start putting layers of different colors on and let them dry. Then I would do my top coat which you were saying would be red! And finally, I would distress by wiping the paint with a damp rag so some of the paints come off. When it's dry again you can sand here and there until you like the look! If you took too much off, you can dry brush some more red or any other color that you put on there for that matter! Just remember, just because it's not perfect doesn't mean it isn't beautiful! That's my motto!! Good Luck and don't forget to post pics of the finished table!

    • That is basically what I'm doing, just not so planned. I figure, as long as there's stripper around, I can always start over. It's a form of meditation, and the table will tell me when it's happy with its new Outfit lol!

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 19, 2015
    Well then I say, YOU GO GIRL! Have fun and happy holidays!!

  • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Dec 20, 2015
    cut down the legs to make a coffee table

  • Sbsb1005 Sbsb1005 on Dec 20, 2015
    I bought one like this at a garage sale. I painted a bright colorful rooster right in the middle on top of a bright sapphire blue. I sold it at a consignment shop after enjoying it in my own kitchen as a large desk.

  • Sorry for "Holiday Delay". BUT, in the waning weeks of a local True Value's existence, the store wide discounts slid steadily; 40 percent to 50 to 60 to 80, with me in there at every percent, buying paint and anything paint, strip, sand, scrape, stain, shellack-related. I mean, I bought a $49.00 can of stripper for $15.00!! The litte jars of paint samples now line a basement shelf like cans in an air raid shelter. Anyway, I'm back on the table. Will update soon.

  • I finally received the inspiration I knew was the answer:

  • Mommy's inspiration.

  • Would love some feedback. Thanks everyone!!